Image for Varun Shetty Varun Shetty - January 13, 2023

Cruz Azul vs Monterrey: Cruz Azul Will Host Monterrey at the Estadio Azteca

  • Cruz Azul will host Monterrey at the Estadio Azteca this Saturday. Cruz Azul have a slight edge based on recent form. 

  • Cruz Azul drew their first game of the season against  Club Tijuana

  • Monterrey lost their first game of the season to Guadalajara

Cruz Azul vs Monterrey Odds

Odds taken from BetMGM, sign up to get a $1000 free bet.

Game result

Odds

Cruz Azul 

+195


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Draw

+220


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Monterrey

+135


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Cruz Azul vs Monterrey Pick

Pick: Monterrey to win (+135)

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Cruz Azul vs Monterrey Prediction

Cruz Azul vs Monterrey Predictions

This is an Apertura quarter-final rematch. Monterrey got the better of Cruz Azul last time out and will go into this game as favorites. However, they’ve yet to put any points on board, whereas Cruz Azul have, at the very least, got a draw in their first Clausura game. 

Monterrey have also got the superior head-to-head record with 10 wins, 12 draws, and six losses. Of course, Cruz Azul are the home team, but Monterrey will be desperate to get their season running. They need the three points more badly, which is another reason why they get the nod in this match. 

Previous Meetings

The last meeting between the two sides was the second-leg quarter-final of the Apertura playoffs. Monterrey won 3-0 that day and 3-0 on aggregate. German Bertarame scored in the 20th minute to give Monterrey the lead, but they had to work quite hard to hold onto that lead. 

Cruz Azul had 58% of the possession and took 20 shots in the game compared to Monterrey’s 15. However, Rogelio Funes Mori’s 85th-minute strike killed the tie. With a 2-0 lead and a few minutes left, the tie was in the bag. Cruz Azul committed more bodies forward, which helped Monterrey score a third four minutes into second-half stoppage time. Jesus Gallardo scored the third goal to cap off a great day for Monterrey. 

Cruz Azul Earn a Draw Against Club Tijuana in Clausura Opener  

Cruz Azul didn’t put in the best of performances against Club Tijuana, but they came out of the game with a point. This will do for now, but they’ll be well aware that this isn’t sustainable. Carlos Alberto Rodriguez’s 84th-minute strike leveled the scores after Lisandro Lopez had put Club Tijuana 1-0 up one minute into first-half stoppage time. 

Cruz Azul had 59% of the possession in this match, but they weren’t able to manufacture all that possession into enough shots. They only took nine all game, compared to Club Tijuana’s 16. Monterrey are a much stronger side on paper than Club Tijuana, and they’ve given Cruz Azul a few beatings in the recent past. Cruz Azul would do well to remember that and put in a better performance on Saturday. 

Cruz Azul Need to Stay Competitive 

Cruz Azul ended their 23-year wait for a championship in 2021. To make sure they don’t want to wait for 23 years once again, they have to keep the intensity going season after season. They were a bit unfortunate to lose 3-0 to Monterrey in last season’s quarter-final second leg, but they didn’t fully impose themselves upon the game either. 

Things can change very quickly in soccer, and no team will do Cruz Azul any favors. They need to find new means of motivating themselves to get to the top again. They finished seventh in the league last season, and as important as the playoffs are, the league determines what sort of mood the club is in, and they never really looked like they were going to win the championship again based on league form. 

They’re playing a Monterrey side that is hurting after the first match of the new season and need to take advantage of that on Saturday. 

Monterrey Unfortunate to Not Get Anything Against Guadalajara

Monterrey did most things right in their first game of the Clausura season against Guadalajara - except for actually scoring a goal and ending up on the sheet. They lost 1-0 on the day but put in a pretty strong display. They had 63% of the possession and took 24 shots compared to Guadalajara’s six, but still couldn’t get anything out of this game. 

Of course, conceding a 47th-minute goal to Alexis Vega was not great, but if this game was played another nine times, Monterrey would’ve probably got all three points on each occasion  – never mind just one point. They need to get their finishing boots on because they’re now going to enter games from a trailing position. No team likes playing catch-up. For Monterrey, this game will be a great test of their mental resolve. They know that they’ve got a good record against Cruz Azul, but can’t get too carried away by that either. 

It’ll be interesting to see how they start this game – will they come out all guns blazing or play a bit within themselves as the away side before showing their quality? They should ideally do the former. 

Monterrey Fans Will Still Be Hurting Because of Last Season’s Exit 

Monterrey were spectacular in the league last season. They ended the league season in second place and had the best defensive record. They only conceded 13 goals all season. After beating Cruz Azul in the quarter-finals, they were expected to head to the finals along with Club America. 

However, things are never this simple in soccer and Liga MX. Both sides bowed out of the competition in the semi-finals, and both sides were quite poor over the two legs. Monterrey, however, were just shocking over the two legs. 

A Motivation to Fix Previous Mistakes

Monterrey lost the semi-final first-leg against Pachuca 5-2. The game was quite tight before Erick Aguirre got sent off in the 64th minute, and they could count themselves a bit unlucky, but the small details make the difference in big games like this. They will consider that going a man down at that stage of the tournament was inexcusable. To then concede two goals towards the end of the first leg - to essentially lose the tie - was also not a great look. 

The second leg was, at least, a home tie. They were playing for pride, but they lost this game as well. This time the scoreline was a bit more respectable at 1-0, but it didn’t take away from a disastrous week for Monterrey. The team looked like they were still haunted by that loss during the opener. They need to move on from it and do it quickly. 

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How to Watch Cruz Azul vs Monterrey

  • Teams: Cruz Azul vs Monterrey

  • Location: Estadio Azteca

  • Time: Saturday, January 14 at 6 pm ET

  • How to Watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes

Image for Varun Shetty

AUTHOR

Varun Shetty

195 Articles

Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]

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